Third Installment: The race everyone was waiting for… the Daytona 500! Junior Nation thrived when he won the pole, but was short-lived when he was involved in an accident during practice and had to start at the rear of the field. The opinions on the racing were anything but unanimous; some praised it, claiming it was better for the fans to watch, because there was more action, others hated it because of all the crashes (which probably took out their favorite driver). The one thing everyone could agree on was how great it was to see rookie, Trevor Bayne, a twenty year old from Tennessee, win the most prestigious race of the year in only his second start, being able to bring back the Wood Brothers, one of the longest teams in NASCAR, back to Victory Lane. Well that’s my recap on the Daytona weekend! I hope you guys enjoyed this ‘race recap’!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Second Installment: The Nationwide race, a race NASCAR fans were divided in their opinions. People were happy about Clint Bowyer winning the pole, but some had a sour taste for the racing, then again, there were a few who were actually surprised at how the race turned out, they expected it to be just the “buddy system” of the two-car drafting, but when it wasn’t, and had some pack racing, they were happy. Others weren’t so happy; they felt that the drivers should be able to get around the track by themselves, not to have to depend on their “buddy” to push them around the track and felt it led to too many cautions. People were happy, however, with the finish. The last lap was an exciting one, a battle between Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart, who was driving the Number 4 for KHI. The margin of victory? 0.007 seconds, which was awarded to Tony Stewart.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I decided to mix this blog up a little bit, instead of it being a recap of the Daytona weekend, I decided to let the fans rule this blog.
First installment of the Daytona weekend, the Camping World Truck Series race, a very emotional race at the least, Austin Dillon won his eighth career pole and people started to wonder if he would bring the number 3 to Victory Lane that night… especially since it was the tenth anniversary of Dale Sr’s death. Out of all three races this past weekend, this was a definite fan favorite. The fans really enjoyed the bumping, shoving, the fact that there was no two-car drafting and for the ones who don’t like restrictor plate racing, this was the race to watch. Even rookies to the Truck Series loved it and found it to be the most interesting race. When Austin was involved in a Lap 94 wreck, his chances at the Daytona victory were over, which was ironic because he was in the third position when he wrecked, the same position Dale Sr. was in when he crashed in the Daytona 500. The most emotional part of the race was when Michael Waltrip won, it being the tenth anniversary Michael's first Daytona 500 win and of Dale's death. Victory Lane was an emotional place when Michael got out of the truck crying, which people found heartwarming.
Stay tuned for the fans views on the Nationwide and Cup races!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Exactly a month ago today was one of the best days for me! (click here for previous blog post) I know a couple of people doubted me when I said Austin Dillon called me to wish me a happy birthday and didn't think that I was serious about being interviewed. Well, to show you all that I wasn't kidding, or playing an early April Fools trick on you guys... click here to see the interview!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Ten years ago our sport lost one of our vital drivers, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Many people loved Dale, but very few understood him. A quote referring to Dale that is very appropriate for the tenth anniversary is “A hero never dies,” and this is clearly stated in the following responses. He will be remembered for many reasons: he got them into NASCAR, he’s the reason for all of the safety improvements, he brought a smile to their faces or he’s the reason for their favorite driver, Dale, Jr.
In remembrance of the tenth anniversary , I recently asked people "If you could say one thing to Dale Sr., what would it be?"
Judy – “Thank you for Junior and for raising the bar for others to follow your legacy.”
Angela – “If Dale Sr. was still alive, I believe he would have won more Championships and another Daytona 500.”
Kim- “Thank you so much! I know you’re still winning in Heaven and thank you for Junior.”
Selina – “Dale, you were a very awesome person. I could be in a bad mood and I could watch a race or just look at your picture and get happy. It’s sad that you left us, but what you were doing what you did best when God took you to bring you home with Him. I will always love you; so until we meet again, hugs and love always.”
Jodie – “Losing you shook the core of NASCAR to the point that it looked like there would be no return. Having your spirit and your energy to bring it back, even hard core, has been a blessing within itself, a LEGACY you would’ve wanted to leave. We were blessed to have you and thank you for making NASCAR what it is today!!”
Fraser – “There’s a big hole where the 3 used to be. E1, you ROCKED NASCAR. We could use more drivers like you.”
Garrett – “Dale, you will always be missed; you are the one who made NASCAR, NASCAR.”
Chechu – “Dale, Sr. was the driver that helped us to understand NASCAR. I’m from Spain and he is the best reference for us. I began following NASCAR in 2006, but if you don’t know Dale, Sr., you don’t know anything. He is the middle point of before and after NASCAR.”
Jerry – “Say ‘Hello’ to the great ones that went before you.”
Cody – “Thank you Dale for all of the amazing moments you had in NASCAR, and for making NASCAR a very safe sport now. Since passing, we’ve had head and neck restraints, soft walls, new, safer cars and if it wasn’t for you, I would’ve never become a NASCAR fan.”
Julie – “I would tell him that only the good die young…I think Dale, Sr. would know what I mean.”
Danny – “Whatever got you into racing?”
Whether you were a fan of his or not, he will always be considered one of the greatest in NASCAR. Dale, you are greatly missed.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Quite a few people I talked to last night had mixed emotions about the 2011 Bud Shootout; some liked the two-car drafting, others abhorred it, some liked the repaving, others weren't fans because they felt it took away the 'character' the track had. I, however, will keep my opinions to myself and write this with a completely neutral attitude.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. started from the pole, but his lead was short-lived when Clint Bowyer snatched the lead. By Lap seven, Dale Jr. took his lead back, and we got a taste of what was to come all night, two-car drafting. Unfortunately, Kasey Kahne fans were dejected when on Lap eight, he headed to the Garage because of engine issues. On Lap twelve, Tony Stewart took the lead away from Bowyer. Seven laps later, Jeff Burton took the lead away and held onto the lead for the remainder of the first segment. During the first segment, there were twelve lead changes and Kyle Busch was able to put a lap of over 206mph down.
The second segment, which was comprised of fifty laps, commenced with a crash. Regan Smith got into Carl Edwards who got into Dale Jr, causing a five-car pile up, which consisted of Dale Jr., Carl Edwards, Kevin Conway, Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Regan Smith. But according to Darrell Waltrip, while showing Joey Logano letting go of the wheel when crashing, "If you don't let go of the wheel, you could break your ankles...wrists!" (I'm sorry, it was too funny not to add.) On Lap thirty, the third caution (first was the competition caution at the end of the first segment) of the night came out, when Kyle Busch and Mark Martin, who were drafting partners all night, both crashed when Mark, who was doing the same thing from the first segment, got into the back of Kyle and spun them both out. Caution number four came out when Michael Waltrip hit the wall. From there on it was smooth sailing, no more cautions, however, the ending was surprising. I thought for sure a Richard Childress Racing car was going to win, but was surprised when Denny Hamlin, who no one heard a word from all night, was passing Ryan Newman for the lead. Unfortunately, he passed below the Yellow Line, and the advance in his position was invalid and was disqualified. Kurt Busch took the Checkered Flag on the final lap, winning the first Bud Shootout in a Dodge.
If you watched the Shootout, you saw history being made, one - a Dodge won, two - Michael Waltrip put down a lap time of 208.29mph, fastest ever at Daytona and three - the record for most lead changes was broken!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
It feels extremely weird to be able to write race recaps again, but weird in a good way! So today was the first ARCA race of the season and Ty Dillon, winner of the last two ARCA Races from last season, driver of the #41 UNOH Chevrolet, won the Menard's Pole Award by putting down a qualifying lap of 48.509.
As the Green Flag waved, Ty fell back and Kyle Fowler took the lead, but on Lap four, Brett Hudson's #94 right rear tread came off his tire and brought out the first caution. On Lap 10, the Green Flag waved for the Restart and Kyle Fowler still led. Lap 18, the #52 of Tom Hessert was hit from behind and spun out, bringing out the second caution. Four laps later, on Lap 22, Bobby Gerhart led the field to the Green, becoming only the second leader of the race.
On Lap 45, #58, Chad Hackenbracht, had a right rear tire down and spun. He went into the Safety Barrier roof first. There were pieces of his mangled car everywhere and five gallons of fuel on the track, causing the first Red Flag. Lap 51 and Bobby Gerhart still had the lead, but by Lap 57, Ed Pompa's tire blew and brought out the third caution.
The "Big One" came on Lap 64 when Hal Martin had a tire go down and then there was a big pile up, which caused the second Red Flag of the race. Some of the drivers involved were: Bryan Silas, Maryeve Dufault, Kyle Fowler, Steve Arpin, and Nick Igdalsky.
Lap 70 rolled around and Bobby Gerhart led the pack to the Green Flag, leading for the next ten laps, not being challenged at all for the win, but pulled of his seventh Daytona win.
To see the big crash, click here.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Smalley, excited about the opportunity, said, “I believe I have what it takes to make it in this sport”. He later added, “Testing at
Motor Hickory , a place where racing legends such as Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty have raced, is an honor within itself” The two day test went very well. Smalley turned over 100 laps, impressing everyone at the track. Team owner and NASCAR driver, Chris Lafferty said, “I was very happy with his ability to take what I said, and apply it to the race track”. Speedway
The next step for Lafferty Motorsports and Smalley will be locking up sponsorship. Lafferty pointed out, “The return on investment in NASCAR is higher than any other sport. Smalley added, “There are over 75 million NASCAR fans who continue to make NASCAR the number one spectator sport in
Smalley concluded the interview by saying, “This test humbled me, but at the same time has me very excited. I think we can do great things; we just need some backing.” Visit phillipsmalley.com for more information, regarding this rising NASCAR star. To learn more about the great sponsorship and marketing opportunities that Lafferty Motorsports along with Phillip Smalley can bring to your company, contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Above is the Press Release submitted by Phillip Smalley*
Friday, February 4, 2011
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
“My name is Dillon Crim. I'm a senior at Munford High School. I am 17 years old. I live for racing; I eat, sleep and breathe for racing.”
- What inspired you to race?
“I have been around racing my whole life. My papaw raced and my cousin raced so I've always been around racing.”
- What do you enjoy most about racing?
“I mostly enjoy when I have a good run and I get out of my car and my dad has a big smile on his face and he tells me, ‘That was a heck of a race.’”
- What is the hardest part of racing for you?
“The hardest part is having to put in those long hours at the shop all week, making sure everything is perfect and that everything is ready to go.
- Would you like to move up to Cup/Truck/Nationwide?
“I would love to go to Nationwide and race for a few years then maybe work my way up to a Cup ride.”
- How did you get started racing and how long have you been racing?
“I got started in racing when I was 13. My dad had owned a few cars and let other people drive them and I always told him I wanted to race, and one day he said, ‘I’m going to get you a street stock car.’ That next weekend we were at the track and he told me to take a picture of which car I liked. I told him and he bought it that Monday and I have raced ever since. I then moved to Crate Late Models and Super Late Models and I have just finished my 2nd year in Super Late Models and this is my 4th year racing.”
If you want more information about Dillon or would like to contact him, check out his personal Facebook page click here.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
This is our final installment for the (THE NASCAR CORNER (Nothing to do with NASCAR itself) FAN voted poll) three-part Most Popular Driver blog, our Cup Series Most Popular Driver, Denny Hamlin. In 1988, Denny, like most other drivers, started his racing career at the age of seven, racing go-karts. In 2000, Denny moved onto Late Model Stock cars.
Four short years later, while competing full time in the Late Model Stock Cars Series, Joe Gibbs Racing signed Hamlin to a development driver contract. After signing with Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin competed in five Craftsman Truck Series races with EJP Racing in 2004. Denny finished out the year making his first Busch Series start at Darlington Raceway in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Driven Performance Oil Chevrolet, starting twenty-seventh, but finishing an astounding eighth.
In Hamlin’s 2005 Season, he replaced Mike Bliss to run the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet in the Busch Series. He was Rookie of the Year and finished off the year fifth in points and eleven Top Tens. It was also in 2005, in which he made his Cup Series debut at Kansas Speedway as the driver of the #11 Fedex Toyota, competing in seven starts – which led to three Top Tens and one pole at Phoenix International Raceway.
In 2006, Denny competed in the Cup Series full time, while still racing in the Busch Series. On March 5th, he won his first Busch race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. On June 11th, Denny won his first career Cup race at the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway from the pole. Not too long after, on July 23rd, he won the Pennsylvania 500, again, at Pocono Raceway. In the Cup Series, he won the Rookie of the Year award and finished third in the final point standings, becoming the only Rookie to ever make the Chase.
In 2009, Denny continued to drive the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Fedex Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series and sharing the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Nationwide Series with Joey Logano.
2010 was a year of highs and lows for Denny. He tore his ACL and had to have surgery, slightly interfering with his racing season, if anything; it gave him more motivation to prove all of the people who thought he shouldn’t be racing wrong. After the first twenty-six races, Denny went into the Chase first and battled with Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick for the 2010 Title. But, in the final race at Homestead, Denny lost the points lead to Jimmie Johnson, and placed second, only thirty-nine points behind.